ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – More than one million dollars has been paid out by New York bars and restaurants for violating the state’s COVID-19 regulations. Enforcement is led by the state’s liquor authority.
“It’s a really challenging time for the restaurant industry, and we’re trying to follow all these new guidelines, deal with all these new rules,” said Melissa Fleischut, President & CEO of the New York State Restaurant Association who says the vast majority of establishments have been in compliance.
The state has suspended more than 200 liquor licenses for businesses not following COVID-19 regulations and filed more than 1,000 charges. Fines can be up to 10,000 per violation. While restaurants have a duty to follow the rules, they also hope customers will be understanding. “These guidelines aren’t something that the restaurant made up, you know, they’re not doing it to be difficult or to ruin your experience. These are state health guidelines put together by the state health department, and we’re forced to follow them. And it’s an effort to keep everybody safe,” Fleischut said.
SLA says that penalty money paid goes to the State’s General Fund.